Re: I found your name in Linux's /usr/lib/magic

Daniel Quinlan (
Sat, 19 Oct 1996 16:52:25 -0400 (EDT)

> I'd like to help (coauthor) any RFC. I really want to see this done
> right. I also happen to have some experience with standards.

Indeed you do. I can't imagine a better person to collaborate with on this.
Let's do it!

> > (3) It might also be useful for there to be a File Extensions Registry,
> > and for file(1) to start trying to deduce stuff from file extensions
> > when the magic number deductions are ambiguous or nonexistent.
> Yes and no. file(1) is intended to analyze data streams independent of
> the file extension. Adding a flag to use the filename for additional
> hints would be a good idea, but using it as the default would violate
> POSIX 2.

Good point. The file pattern stuff isn't something we need to tackle
right away, however, and is independent of the magic-number RFC.

If you'll ship me a copy of your magic-number selection guidelines, I'll
take a shot at drafting the RFC, then bounce it back to you for edits and

This document shouldn't be very hard to develop. And it will be interesting
to learn the mechanics of shepherding an RFC through the IETF process.

	<a href="">Eric S. Raymond</a>